Why Do So Many People Insult Erdogan?

Yüklə 13,01 Kb.
ölçüsü13,01 Kb.

Why Do So Many People Insult Erdogan?

Today's Zaman, Turkey - 9/3/2015

Why do so many people insult Recep Tayyip Erdoðan? Did any of the previous presidents insult citizens, mocked opposition parties or start polemics with them? Think about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ýsmet Ýnonu, Adnan Menderes, Suleyman Demirel or Turgut Ozal.
None of these presidents used the slightest insult. All of them were experienced statesmen who had internalized the principles of statecraft. They didn't feel obliged to resort to such acts or they refrained from indulging in those acts. This is because the presidency constitutes a supra-party, conciliatory position that embraces all segments of society. It is the state's uppermost position that seeks to maintain social equilibrium. For this reason, Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) defines insulting the president as a crime.
The person who insults the president is punishable by one to four years in prison.
What happens when you insult the president?
For instance, if someone insults an incumbent president with words such as "Hashashin," "leech" or "vampire," he would be sentenced to prison. But when Erdoðan insults millions of people with the same words, he is not penalized because he has immunity.
If a citizen refers to the president as a "member of a terrorist organization" or a "terrorist" or if an impertinent person dares call the president a "Mossad agent" or "CIA agent," he would be punished for insulting the president. But when Erdoðan insults millions of people with the same words, he is not penalized because he has immunity.
If a journalist or columnist calls the president a "traitor," he would be punished for insult. But if Erdoðan refers to certain public prosecutors, judges, columnists, celebrities and even Economy Minister Ali Babacan, central bank Governor Erdem Baþcý, Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSÝAD) Chairman Muharrem Yýlmaz and opposition leaders as "traitors," he is not penalized because he has immunity.
If a protester calls the president a "thief" or "murderer," he would be punished for insult. There are dozens of such protesters. Many people, including Miss Turkey and a 13-year-old teen, are standing trial for insulting Erdoðan. Sixty-one journalists were ordered to pay compensation for insulting Erdoðan while 22 journalists are currently in prison.
But when Erdoðan utters the abovementioned insults against millions of people, he is immune.
Demirel, Ozal and the opposition
For instance, Republican People's Party (CHP) politicians didn't like Demirel but when he visited the CHP's headquarters, he would be greeted with respect. Likewise, Ozal would be greeted with flowers at the headquarters of all parties. There was certainly competition among party leaders and party politicians, but no hostility like the kind we see today. This has already been confirmed by Bulent Arýnc: "In the past, our opponents would respect us, but today 50 percent of society hate us. There is polarization. Turkey may become a country that can hardly be governed." But who is responsible for this?
If all the insults hurled at Ataturk, Ýnonu, Menderes, Demirel and Ozal are uttered against Erdoðan in just one month, the source of the problem can clearly be understood. Uttering all sorts of insults on all social segments without restraint, polarizing society into Alevis and Sunnis, denigrating Armenians and Jews by referring to someone as being, "Excuse me, but Armenian" or "Jewish kid," making the rallying crowds boo a mother who lost her child and reviling the dead can be listed as the source of this hate.
By the way, we should be fair. There are also individuals and groups that are not humiliated but are held in high esteem by Erdoðan: Doðu Perincek; the Workers' Party (ÝP); the defendants of the lawsuits against Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- and Sledgehammer (Balyoz) -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government; the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK); the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK); Abdullah Ocalan; and Kandil -- the PKK leaders in the PKK camps located in the Kandil mountains in northern Iraq.
Price of insults against public
There is certainly a price that Erdoðan is currently paying bitterly for insults. As you might notice, he can no longer mingle with citizens. He cannot leave the palace without an army of guards. Last year, he couldn't attend the presidential cup. He cannot go to stadiums and indoor sports halls if they are not filled with Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters. He cannot stop by marketplaces. If he happens to stop by, another Soma scandal may reoccur. Last month, funeral ceremonies for 10 martyrs were held, but he couldn't attend any of them for fear of being protested against.
When he decides to make a public appearance, a North Korean security protocol is implemented. Whatever is done for Kim Jong Un is done for Erdoðan. He cannot eat food casually. His food is checked with electronic equipment that is found only at a NASA base.
Erdoðan is isolated not only from Turkey, but also from the world. He cannot fly to the US or European countries. He cannot make an official visit to any country with real democracy. No one comes from those countries for an official visit. We cannot talk to world leaders on the phone. He just sends his message with "smoke" by shouting "O, Obama," or "O, Merkel." He is aware of this situation, but tries to brush over this scandal by saying, "I don't care about loneliness."
Can he make public appearance on TV? He cannot give an interview to any regular journalist. The journalists who he talks to include fanatical AK Party supporters who are disguised as journalists and cabin officers like Akif Beki, who act like his tailgates. They either caress his cheek and ask, "Sir, how do you maintain your energy? What do you eat?" like Mehmet Barlas, or utter sentences that can be regarded as the utmost example of sycophancy like, "I cannot image anything anymore because even before I envision something, you already make it happen."
It follows that he reaps votes with hate speech. This makes it impossible for him to make public appearances.
*Veysel Ayhan is managing editor of the Zaman daily.
Yüklə 13,01 Kb.

Dostları ilə paylaş:

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur ©azkurs.org 2024
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

gir | qeydiyyatdan keç
    Ana səhifə